The powerful penguin-industrial lobby must’ve slipped pundit-for-pay Maggie Gallagher some mackerels to plug March of the Penguins in her most recent syndicated column.
Despite the fact that this film was made by Frenchmen (yes, those Frenchmen!), Gallagher gets to the heart of what makes the film so darn American:
American Jordan Roberts, charged with translating the French film into American, ditched the penguin dialogue for an entirely new film, a sweeping, epic love story. “It’s hard these days to tell a story of beauty and be taken seriously,” Roberts told the Los Angeles Times. “But this film does.” It is easier, he said, for most people “to accept the positive qualities of character when they are given to animals rather than humans.” With people, “we see an act of generosity, we figure there’s an agenda. Penguins have no agenda.”
I don’t know Jordan Roberts’ agenda, religious or otherwise, but it is hard not to see the theological overtones in the movie he remade. Beauty, goodness, love and devotion are all part of nature, built into the DNA of the universe. Even in the harshest place on the Earth (like 21st-century America?), love will not only endure, it will triumph.
America’s the harshest place on earth? Quick, someone tell the residents of Sadr City or Niger. Let’s hope someone’s there to translate their responses into American.